Former Roselawn Sanitarium to be site of haunted house

| September 30, 2015
The former Roselawn Sanitarium will be the site of a haunted house sponsored by GentleBrook with help from two high school clubs, the Coshocton Key Club and the Ridgewood STATS Club. The haunted tours will be from 8 p.m. – midnight on Friday, Oct. 23, Saturday, Oct. 24, Friday, Oct. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 31.

The former Roselawn Sanitarium will be the site of a haunted house sponsored by GentleBrook with help from two high school clubs, the Coshocton Key Club and the Ridgewood STATS Club. The haunted tours will be from 8 p.m. – midnight on Friday, Oct. 23, Saturday, Oct. 24, Friday, Oct. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 31.

WEST LAFAYETTE – The last two weekends in October, the former Roselawn Sanitarium in West Lafayette will be transformed into a house of horrors. The building, which was built in 1901 and originally housed the West Lafayette College, is being converted into a haunted house for the upcoming Halloween holiday by staff at GentleBrook with help from two local high school clubs, the Coshocton Key Club and the Ridgewood STATS Club.

Tour groups will meet at GentleBrook, located at 21597 SR 751 in West Lafayette and be driven by van up to the sanitarium grounds where they will be greeted by nightmarish ghouls. A tour guide will lead each group through the building to different rooms including the nursery, butcher shop, electro-shock therapy room, a headless doctor’s room, and many more. Tours will be given on the first and second stories only, but don’t be surprised if you hear stomping and banging coming from the attic.

Live actors will be placed in each room, although with the black lights and dark spaces, it’ll be difficult to tell what is simply an automated doll and what is not.

“Having live actors is what will make the haunted house successful,” said Leslie Zimmerman, QIDP at GentleBrook. “The students come to us with really good suggestions of their own all the time. We would not be able to pull this off if it wasn’t for the kids.”

When you exit the building, don’t be surprised if there are a few more scares waiting for you as you head back toward the van. Either before or after your visit, be sure to check out the classic horror movies, which will be playing nonstop at GentleBrook.

The building itself was permanently closed last winter and has been closed to clients since 1996.

“This building has a lot of reputation in the community,” said Kathy Davidson, administrator. “A lot of people used to work here, and there are a lot of people who think it really is haunted.”

The haunted house was the brainchild of the fundraising committee at GentleBrook for the Beyond the Divide Fundraiser. According to gentlebrook.org, Beyond the Divide is a fundraiser to assist in building enhancements that bring different segments of community members together in ways that foster understanding and mutual respect. To assist in this fundraising effort, GentleBrook’s CEO, Norm Wengerd is bike riding 2,800 miles, starting in Canada and ending in Mexico. The goal is to raise $280,000. Part of those funds will impact community members in West Lafayette.

“We would like to do something to integrate the community,” said Davidson.

If this year goes well, the staff at GentleBrook hopes to make the haunted house an annual event. Volunteers are more than welcome to help.

“I’ve had people ask, ‘I wish I could help.’ You can help,” said Zimmerman. “The more help we have, the more successful we’ll be.”

Tickets are $10 for the haunted tours and $3 to watch the classic horror movies. Tickets are available during the event at GentleBrook.

People who experience seizure disorders, have a heart condition, or have difficulty climbing stairs are encouraged not to attend. Some images may be disturbing to some people. Enter at your own risk.

The haunted tours will be from 8 p.m. – midnight on Friday, Oct. 23, Saturday, Oct. 24, Friday, Oct. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 31.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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